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Letter from the Executive Director
TOS
Dear Colleagues,

As we head into the holiday season, I'd like to wish all of you happy holidays and offer a sincere thank you to TOS leadership, members, staff, supporters and sponsors for a very successful year. We're off to celebrate Thanksgiving following the completion of the inaugural ObesityWeek conference. Combining efforts with our partner the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) led to quite an incredible event; I'm sure you all heard a great deal of buzz about this meeting, which was five years in the making.
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Capitol Update: Qualified Health Plans Reveal Discriminatory Benefit Design
TOS
Since State Health Exchanges officially opened for business on October 1, leaders of the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC) have been able to review a number of the Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) offered in states across the country. This review has revealed several examples of discriminatory benefit design language, including limits on bariatric surgery and coverage denials for all obesity treatment services (even if medically necessary).

To discuss this issue, among other policy issues relevant to our industry, the OCC is planning to hold an advocacy week December 9-13, which will feature numerous visits with key legislators on Capitol Hill. In addition, leaders will be holding meetings with state-oriented organizations to educate state policymakers on the essentials of obesity treatment and the need for state exchanges to cover these services. Read about these activities in the November advocacy update here.

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ObesityWeek 2014 Symposia Submission Site Open
TOS
It's time to start planning for ObesityWeek 2014! The Obesity Society's Annual Meeting Program Planning Committee is now accepting suggestions for sessions. We hope you’ll share your suggestions for possible symposium topics and speakers. Please keep in mind that the Committee is not requesting formal symposium submissions, but rather suggestions for topic areas and possible speakers. This differs from other societies that either accept or reject symposium submissions in their entirety. Even if accepted, submissions may be modified by the Program Committee to fit the overall Program. Please submit your ideas here before the December 15, 2013 deadline.
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Claim Your ObesityWeek CME Credit
TOS
Did you participate in CME at ObesityWeek? Don’t forget to log onto the CME website to claim your credit. Here’s how:
    1. Logon to the site here.
    2. Enter Username and Password.
      a. Username = FirstName+LastName (no spaces)
      b. Password = the email address that you used for your ObesityWeek registration
    3. Fill out the evaluations by selecting "evaluate" next to the activity you attended. After completing the evaluation, a check mark will indicate that it has been completed.
    4. Enter your credits by filling in the box that appears once you have completed the evaluation.
    5. Access your certificate by selecting the "my certificates" tab or log out and return to the site at a later date.

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SPONSORED CONTENT


Orexigen Announces Successful Interim Analysis of Contrave Light Study
TOS
Earlier this week, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. announced successful results of the interim analysis of the Light Study. Based on these results, the Company will resubmit the Contrave® New Drug Application (NDA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the next few weeks with potential approval by June 2014.

"The interim analysis of the Light Study clearly achieved the goal set by the FDA," said Michael Narachi, CEO of Orexigen. "The resubmission will contain an unprecedented amount of cardiovascular outcomes data for an obesity therapeutic, and we are confident these data will support a favorable benefit:risk assessment for Contrave."

In response to the announcement, TOS President Steven Smith, MD, said this is "a step in the right direction as part of the development of safe and effective medications for obesity treatment." Read the full statement here.

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TOS Abstract Book: Printed Copies Still Available for Purchase
TOS
Did you miss out on ordering or picking up a printed version of the abstract book at ObesityWeek? There are several dozen printed copies remaining for $10.00. To purchase the book, please contact Deborah Bell with your billing and mailing information at dbell@obesity.org. Hurry — they are selling out fast!
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NYC Health Department Launches Website to Review Nutritional Content of Food at National Chain Restaurants
TOS
The NYC Health Department recently launched a new website that offers a comprehensive view of the nutritional content of foods sold at the nation's largest restaurant chains. MenuStat is a free, public website that contains restaurant nutrition data from 66 restaurant chains; data is included for every restaurant in the top 100 restaurants by sales that made nutrition data available in 2012 and 2013. The site sources data from the restaurant websites, provides historical, date-stamped information, and puts it into a format that allows for comparison across restaurants, food categories, and over time.

MenuStat is designed for use by researchers, food industry professionals, health organizations and consumers interested in understanding nutrition trends. Users can search items by selecting specific criteria such as the calorie content of beverages on kids' menus or the average grams of trans fat in fried potatoes, and, assess changes in nutrition content over time such as the sodium content of sandwiches in 2012 and 2013. The website also includes a graphing function and the option to export data to a spreadsheet for analysis.

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How to Cite the New Clinical Practice Recommendations for Obesity Treatment
TOS
Long-awaited treatment guidelines on how to manage overweight and obesity were released last week during ObesityWeek and published in the journal, Obesity. The Obesity Society is pleased to have played a critical role in the development of these guidelines, as health professionals have waited 13 years since the last guidelines from the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute were released.

TOS Past President Donna Ryan, MD, the Associate Editor-in-Chief of Obesity acted as a lead author and co-chair of the research group, which included other representatives from TOS, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

This is a very important publication for the Obesity journal and we hope that you will join us in spreading the word by sharing the link to the Obesity guidelines here. If you would like to cite any part of the guidelines in written text, please refer to the following citation:

Online Citation
Jensen MD, Ryan DH, Donato KA, Apovian CM, Ard JD, Comuzzie AG, Hu FB, Hubbard VS, Jakicic JM, Kushner RF, Loria CM, McMurry KY, Millen BE, Nonas CA, Pi-Sunyer FX, Stevens J, Stevens VJ, Wadden TA, Wolfe BM, Yanovski SZ. 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Obesity 2013. Published online before print November 12, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.20660

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Obesity is not up for discussions with most GPs, say patients
TOS
Physicians are not discussing weight management with obese patients, says a new survey conducted by Eisai Inc. in partnership with the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) and The Obesity Society (TOS). According to the survey, 44 percent of overweight and obese patients say their doctors offer no counseling on weight loss and 37 percent said their doctors are not able to help them lose weight. Nearly all physicians (92 percent), however, say they do counsel about diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

On Friday, December 6 at 1 p.m. EST, @eisaiweightloss will be hosting a live educational Twitter Chat on obesity, moderated by Ken Fujioka, MD. As an important contributor to the medical community and the fight against obesity, TOS members are asked to join this discussion to provide perspective on this important topic. During the chat, Dr. Fujioka will discuss topics such as the definition of obesity, common risk factors, and the AMA classification of obesity as a disease. We hope you are able to join in on the conversation, and remember to connect by using the hashtag #ExploringObesity.

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It's a Small World: Gut Microbiota Researchers Present Work at ObesityWeek
Contributed by Andrew Lowndes
Scientists from around the world spoke during ObesityWeek in a symposium dedicated to the influence of microbiota on obesity and health. The researchers presented their work with the same back-story: that each and every one of us is not alone, but host to trillions of bacterial cells. Quite humbling, they said, is the fact that bacterial cells outnumber human cells by about nine-to-one.

Patrice Cani, PhD, from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, illuminated the dark world of gut microbiota in order to discover a minute species of bacteria known as Akkermansia muciniphila. Her research found that the introduction of this species into the intestine of mice independently increased fat oxidation. Further, Dr. Jonathan Krakoff (NIH) studied nutrient absorption in humans, and found different proportions of bacterial species between obese and lean individuals. The third presenter, Dr. Karine Clement from the Institute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition in Paris, reviewed how bariatric surgery affects the diversity of gut microbiota in humans, finding significant results that varied depending on the type of intervention.

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OBESITY IN THE NEWS


Researchers study how excess fat cells interfere with organ function, metabolism
The Wall Street Journal
Why are some obese people healthy, apparently protected from the damaging effects of excess fat on the liver and other organs? Scientists are investigating this question as they look to understand how obesity disrupts normal organ function and causes inflammation, insulin resistance, diabetes and other metabolic abnormalities.
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Are corporate wellness programs driving down costs when it comes to obesity?
BLR
Are the employer-sponsored wellness programs sprouting up in corporate America to get employees healthier and drive down the cost of health benefits succeeding, especially with obesity?
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Social gaming website facilitated 4-week weight loss
Healio
Online social gaming with financial incentives produced impressive 4-week weight losses and should be considered a model for future endeavors, according to study results presented at ObesityWeek 2013.
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Why vegetarians are thinner than you
Prevention
If you've ever downed a bag of baby carrots to keep yourself from turning to higher cal snacks, you could be on to something: New research shows that embracing a plant-based diet may be the most effective way to lose weight.
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Vegans, vegetarians lose more weight without counting calories
Healthline
Counting calories may soon be a thing of the past. A new study sheds light on a weight loss model that involves maintaining a specific diet, rather than tracking calories. Brie Turner-McGrievy, an assistant professor at the University of South Carolina, studied 63 individuals who were placed into five diet groups — vegan, vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, and omnivorous — for an eight-week span.
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Skipping meals may shed lbs., boost brain
MedPage Today
Adopting a habit of "intermittent fasting" that involves foregoing food every other day may eventually lead to weight loss and improve cognition in heavier patients, researchers reported.
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ObesityWeek 2013
Medscape
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and The Obesity Society joint annual scientific meeting news coverage.
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Could weight-loss surgery help slow aging for some?
HealthDay News
Beyond slimming the waistlines of morbidly obese patients, weight-loss surgery also may help reverse the aging process in some patients, turning back the clock on a key sign of decline in the body's cells, a small, early study suggests.
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Study links physical fitness with test scores among poor students
Al Jazeera America
As the national discussion over how to improve public education continues, one area that some researchers feel has gotten short shrift is that of physical fitness and physical education. New research, presented Wednesday at the ObesityWeek conference, shows that ignoring that area in favor of adding more time in class may be self-defeating, as improved fitness and improved test scores seem to go hand in hand for students who are most in need of a boost.
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Medically supervised weight-loss program reduced health care costs
Healio
Obese adults incur $2,714 more in healthcare costs compared with adults of normal weight, according to researchers. However, a medically supervised weight-loss program has the potential to reduce medication costs by up to $215 per month, according to data presented at ObesityWeek 2013.
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Study: As cost of sugary drinks go up, sales go down
USA Today
Raising the cost of high-calorie beverages by a few cents — and highlighting calorie content in places where they are sold — decreases sales, a new study shows. This research comes after much discussion in recent years about trying to combat the nation's obesity crisis by adding extra taxes to the cost of sugar-sweetened beverages, sometimes called a "soda tax."
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Obesity increases cost of care by $8,000 per patient in VA study
Healio
U.S. veterans with a BMI of at least 40 were estimated to cost Veterans Affairs $8,138 more than their normal-weight counterparts during 10 years of medical treatment, according to study findings presented at ObesityWeek 2013.
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The Obesity Society eNews
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Disclaimer: eNews is a digest of the most important news selected for The Obesity Society from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. The Obesity Society does not endorse any of the advertised products and services. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and not of The Obesity Society.

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